Mary Anna Henry Is Born to Joseph and Harriet Henry




Date: 1834


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Joseph Henry's second child, Mary Anna, is born in the winter of 1834 in Princeton, New Jersey. In 1846, Joseph Henry would become the first Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution. After his death, Mary Henry attempted to preserve her father's legacy by compiling and transcribing documents in preparation for a biography of her father. Her diaries were bequeathed to the Smithsonian and include entries on her experiences as a resident of the Smithsonian Castle during the Civil War.


  • Henry, Mary Anna 1834-1903
  • Henry, Joseph 1797-1878
  • Henry, Harriet A. 1808-1882


Chronology of Smithsonian History


  • Selections from Mary Henry's diaries and photographs depicting her family's life in the Smithsonian Castle can be viewed at
  • The image below is Mary Henry. For additional images of Mary Henry see Negative Numbers 2002-12181 and 6636-G in the SIRIS.
  • Reingold, Nathan, ed. The Papers of Joseph Henry, The Albany Years, December 1797 - October 1832, vol. 2. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1975, p. 168.
  • Moyer, Albert. Joseph Henry: The Rise of an American Scientist. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1997, p. 138.

Contact information

Institutional History Division, Smithsonian Institution Archives, 600 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20024-2520,




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